LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas braced for another summer downpour Tuesday, a day after a powerful thunderstorm flooded roads, forced water rescues and diverted air traffic.
The National Weather Service issued another flood watch, warning that heavy rain could fall into the evening.
Monday’s thunderstorm started around 6 p.m. and hit foothills in the Lone Mountain and Summerlin areas the hardest.
Summerlin, northwest of downtown, recorded more than an inch of rain while McCarran International Airport got just 0.05 inch.
“We could have a repeat of yesterday. It never strikes the same place twice, usually, but it’s possible,” weather service meteorologist Nathan Foster said.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue handled 10 water rescues between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday. There were also three other electrical incidents and numerous car accidents related to the weather.
Spokesman Tim Szymanski said most rescues involved people in stalled vehicles who needed assistance getting out in deep water. No injuries were reported.
“There was so much water, it blew some of the manhole covers. It was looking like geysers with water gushing out,” Szymanski said.
Although the rain was light at the airport near the Las Vegas Strip, flooding was still a problem in the area.
“A lot of times, they might not get the rain on The Strip but they get the runoff,” Foster said.
Nowhere is that more apparent than behind the new High Roller observation wheel and Linq hotel-casino and pedestrian mall, the re-named and renovated Imperial Palace site.
Even though rushing water below the 550-foot-tall observation wheel may look like a scene out of a disaster movie, Erin Neff with the Clark County Regional Flood Control District said even though the storm runoff floods roads and a parking structure, that’s where the water is supposed to go.
She said the key is to stay away during flooding. Locals do but often tourists don’t get the message, even when roads are closed and barriers are erected, she said.
She urged everyone to also stay away from flood channels and washes during heavy storms that were filled with water 8 feet high rushing 30 mph in some places Monday night.
“You are no match for that water,” she said.
Neff said the storm left mud and rocks behind on some local streets but, by and large, there was no property damage.
At least eight arriving commercial air flights were diverted away from Las Vegas during the height of the storm, and some departures were delayed, said Christine Crews, a McCarran International Airport spokeswoman.
There were no calls for emergencies, and no damage or injuries reported, Crews said.
Fueling operations were stopped as a precaution due to lightning in the area, and diverted flights went to airports including Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Los Angeles International and Ontario International in California, Crews said.
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